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Readers Respond: Experiences in 2W1X1 - AIRCRAFT ARMAMENT SYSTEMS

Responses: 30


Do you have experience in this Air Force enlisted AFSC?

462 Career Field

Went in in '69 during the VN conflict. Had no choice which AFSC I was in. Did 26 years as a load toad and retired in '95. Made E-5 under 4 and became an expeditor. Made E-6 in 10 and became a shift supervisor. Made E-7 in 13 and became an NCOIC. Made E-8 in 19 and became a Superintendent. Great career, even greater people and a very rewarding experience. Wouldn't trade it for anything. Only regret is I don't know where everyone I served with are at now. Would love to get together with them and drink a beer and BS.

It's all what you make it

I've been doing this for 27 years- and theres not a better carred field in the AF. I've been on 14 different assignments, mulitple deployments and 6 different air frames. I've met 90% great people- there is always a percentage that can't hack it and will whine. Those are the folks that like to bitch and will whine no matter what job they are in- military or civilian. And thats fine- not everyone can cut it. It's challenging, fun- you get to spend time on the airframes and during deployments you get to see it all happen. 2 years and 4 months left to retirement- and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.
—Guest Weapons


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I trained at lowery in 1987 then got Stationed At Davis-Monthan. Yes the Job has its up and downs. But you know what? I would not change it for the world. I had to Cross Train after my first enlisment, back then too many people were in that field. So I went into CE. Power Production. Now that was a blast as well. Both job put you in the eliments. Cold, hot, snow, rain. Just had to suck it up and move forward. Never looked for an award or pat on the back. Most be the new generation. i was a #2 man. In charge of the tools. LOl
—Guest A-10


For those of you that love this job like I do, thank you. For the others that think it sucks and thinks Weapons supervision just sit around maintaining programs, GROW UP!!! We all came in and worked our buts off. If you want out, then get out! If not stop complaining and many doors will open.
—Guest 2W1 18YEARS

Great Job for Hard workers

I love my job as a weapons troop and I work around a few troops that hate this job. I tell them like Ill tell you this is a good job because you make way more than minimum wage and you dont work as hard as some do in McDonalds. What are you really complaining about the long hours....I know people right now that are getting cut back, laid off, or cant find a job. What you dont wanna do a B-Man ..... For what Uncle Sam pays you I promise It wont hurt you to pull chocks or catch jets. Not really happy bout the hot/cold weather what was you really wanting in a millitary career.....a air conditioned room with a recliner and no one to give a damn about you Physical Conditioning? Get over it, Get to work, and Be greatful because you have it better than alot of people. I love this job but i hate working with Whiny ungreatful 18 and 19 year old brats. ok im off my soap box. lol
—Guest Moore

great time

I really enjoyed my time as a bomb loader, I saw parts of the world I never would have had I not been one. Hard work never killed anyone! I trained at Lowery in 83 and went to the (Rock) Hahn, AB Germany what a great overall experience.
—Guest samb

Down the Toilet

This job use to be awesome until about 5 years ago. The Air Force has changed so much it has made jobs like this one almost unbearable. In this "administrative Air Force," you almost can't take a piss without someone holding your hand and telling you, you are doing it wrong. This job gets no respect and why should it when all weapons is doing right now is shooting their own people in the foot. I guess you could make rank and change things and that would work except now weapons is rank heavy which means when you do finally make rank, you are still doing to be doing the same job and going no where. Right now the enlisted side of the AF is walking an uphill battle.
—Guest Langley

Egyptian Slave

Prepare to work. This job consumes your time. Either work on an easy aircraft and treated like a nobody, or a hard aircraft and work like a slave. The weapons people got eachother's backs, and couldn't find better people, but work is rediculous. Loading cement is annoying, but when you load lives it gets fun. maintenance can suck sometimes. Travel is real good though. You can see all over the world, and TDYs are fun. Lots of changing in this career from QA, Loadbarn, FTD instructor, backshop, flightline. Korea will be your base to get to other bases. Changing aircraft is pretty easy as well. If you come in as a 2W1, just stay positive, work hard, play harder.
—Guest Mr PH


I was a 462 for 4 years, 1972-1976. Did not mind it at all. Make it hard and it will be. Learned allot, true pay is the same which sucked on cold rainy days and freezing weather. Any job, no matter what has its up's and down's, it's what you do with the down's that count. I say go for it and enjoy. SMILE *___*. To some response I AM NOT DUMB. You don't want to make a 462 mad, mess with one, mess with the rest.


Alot of people say to quit complaining about this job but come on its hard not to. I know we volunteered for this job but when we get the same pay as some a$$hole at the hospital when we work twice as hard for twice the amount of hours its def a challenge to not hate it. Granted there are some bases where being a weapons troop isnt bad, and if you get put it backshop its not unbearable but if your on the line your going to hate life. Plain and simple.
—Guest 2w151

looking to be a 2W1? MUST READ!

Do not judge this job by the few haters who dont like this career field. Like most of the other responses this job has its up and downs. each air frame is different so I dont speak for all, but those few ppl who commented negatively are usually your stereo typical "dirtbags" who hated their job because they are lazy. Yes, you can work long hours (working 12hr a shift as write this) at times, but how many ppl can say they where entrusted with multi million dollar assets, massive explosives, and travel to places like the Guam, Japan, and many ohter places... You have the oppurtunity to see cool stuff and meet interesting ppl. It is all what you make of it. I am in the process of retraining but I do not regret it one bit, I have had some amazing experiences and would do it again. If you enjoy the elements, spontaneous change of pace, working with your hands, this is the job for you. If you are reading this and hate your job remember, you VOLUNTEERED!
—Guest F-22 Load Crew Chief


Served in Viet nam and Thailand 1967-1968 Made SSGT E-5 under 3 yrs. Good and bad but Load crew chief with 3 stripes. Worked hard loading 17 conv 4 nuc on F-105. No regrets. Got good job with Electronics background Telephone Company 20 yrs. State Policeman 15 yrs. Good character builder working around dangerous weapons. Helped get good careers later in life.


I have been in this career field for 13 yrs, it has been the best 13 yrs of my life! For those of you complaining about rewards, or a pat on the back, why don't you call your mommy, I'm sure she will be glad to hold your hand and give you pat that you so deserve. Most of us REAL TOADs work weapons because we have pride in what we do, we love our job no matter what, we aren't looking for rewards or recognition. If that's all you are looking for and have no pride in being a 2W1 or 462, we don't want you working by our sides anyway!
—Guest Loadtoad4ever

Current Loader 04-present

This job is not a bad job. It def will not provide you a guarenteed shoe in the door as a civilian. But as far as Air Force goes, Weapon's is the Olympics. You may not get recognized easily by the supervision who is sitting in the office maintaing programs, but the guy turning the wrench next to you sure as hell does. And watching the videos of what your pilots do with your bombs when you deploy will def give you more pride than sitting in some nonner job looking at facebook and youtube all day. (Nonner btw is all those office jobs that dont make an aircraft take off)
—Guest Workit

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